The Daily Grind: What’s the best MMORPG endgame for people who like to PUG?

    
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A few months ago on Reddit, a player popped up with a neat question about MMO endgames. Essentially, Redditor TooEarlyForMe wanted to participate in a grouping or raiding endgame typical of themeparks, but he wanted to be able to do it in low-stress pick-up groups rather than premades. In World of Warcraft, for example, pugging is definitely a thing, but even pugs are seldom low-key, and most of the things you can do in a pug aren’t super meaningful, so it just wasn’t doing it for him.

“I’m basically just looking for an MMO where you can do group content without a bunch of social pressure. As it is now, I feel like I spend 30 minutes of begging/LFG-ing to do a 20-minute mythic dungeon.”

I’d rather like to know the answer to this myself because my current MMOs make it pretty hard to do larger-scale content without being in a tricked-out guild. What’s the best MMORPG endgame for people who like to PUG in a low-stress but still meaningful environment?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Jokerchyld

Honestly? Elder Scrolls Online. Logon. Do what you want. Where you want. Want to go to the latest expac zone (assuming you bought it)? Go there. Queue for dungeons. Queue for Battle grounds. Queue for 3 faction PvP if thats your thing. Play house. Craft. Whatever.

The overland content is easy to play through casual. Looking for more of a challenge? work your way into Veteran dungeons. Or better yet how about a single player dungeon that gives some of the best loot in the game? Try Malestrom Arena.

Get bored? Stop playing. Come back 8 months later (like I did) pick up right where you left off as you are never left behind.

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TherecDaMage .

So re-reading the thread on Reddit, this poster is asking for a single-player game. He wants a challenging meaningful endgame that you can PUG, not have to wait long, and people won’t ask for gearscore or achievements to prove you know what you’re doing.

There are plenty of games out there that have PUG-able content, but the challenge is lowered so that the toxic groups are not going to bug you about gear score. If that makes it less meaningful, then do the harder content and form your own group.

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Loopy

Probably either WoW or FFXIV, the latter being less of a gogogogo experience usually. Super simple and easy to get into. As for meaningful portion of the ask… well just pick a healer class.

mr_palin
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mr_palin

Low stress, pug-able end game.

With world bosses, Orr temple events, and other dynamic/meta events, GW2 really hits this

Dungeons: don’t scale, but you can throw your party on LFG and usually get a team in a few min. Most can be done 3-4 players.

Fractals: these are like mini challenge dungeons broken into 4 tiers and 100 difficulty levels. They add new dynamics and such into the game. LFG is usually easy to find a group. Usually you can do 5-6 in a row with a group before it disbands.

Strike missions: new content added in recent months. These are coined as “raid practice” to learn raiding mechanics. They are progressively getting more difficult. 10-player squads

Raids: a bit of a niche, but there are people who raid. Theres no real pugging here. 10 player squads

The rest of the content is virtually open world. Most map metas and world bosses will have like 30-50 players or more doing the events. No need to “PUG” these.

Other than that there are hours and hours of story content to do. Game isn’t toxic, most guilds have a few people more than willing to help new players or even veteran players trying to do content.

James Murnion
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James Murnion

Low stress endgame content that is still meaningful? Doesn’t exist. Either it’s challenging and you hope it’s meaningful or it’s faceroll easy and it’s not. Personal opinion obviously.

OP is already on the best MMO for pugging, if they are sick of wait times, play a tank and you will get groups instantly all the time.

whowutwhen
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whowutwhen

IMO a solo player who wants to eschew social interactions Should NOT be able to get into endgame content in an mmo.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Endgame? Hmm. I am trying to figure out if the MMORPGs I find the best for PUGs throughout the game experience remain that way for the endgame.

Cryptic’s stuff is fairly good all the way on from earlier levels to the endgame.

I don’t think I know any game that’s really as fast and easy to get on, join a PUG and do some content and get back off than Star Trek Online is.

STO has different difficulties for all the group content, so it works both for “newer” end game arrivals and old-time players. Not all content gets you grouped that fast but the currently promoted stuff normally gets you in pretty quick just by signing up.

I found that I’d get into groups pretty quick and easy in Cryptic’s Neverwinter MMORPG as well. When I was playing they were in the midst of trying out requiring certain numbers of each class role for grouping and when that was turned on, getting in the dungeons as a DPS was much slower than usual. They were trying to find the balance between what dungeons required group roles and which didn’t. I’m unsure where it settled since I am not currently playing but their whole PUG system felt like it was fairly decent at the time.

Neverwinter also has a number of outdoor boss events that work sort of like Guild Wars 2 stuff, people just show up and fight there together.

Speaking of which, that kind of main world group works out great in Guild Wars 2. You feel like you’re in a PUG with all of the group content happening out in the main world. Their actual groups you join to do their dungeons and stuff I never seemed to have a quick or easy time really getting in to do, however.

So where would that put GW2? The actual dungeon PUGs aren’t great, the outdoor group content that feels and works a bit like PUGs is wonderful.

Adventure Quest 3D has these open dungeons and if you play on the more populated server they’re always full of other people for the most part. Being on the correct server is a big part of that though. Their Red server is extremely full. The Blue server is where you go when you want fewer people around.

I hate to just name the usual suspects. I wish I had some games on my mind that were more rare to put on the list. There was a time I scrounged and played every obscure little MMO in every corner of the Internet. Then real life happened and I don’t have the time to do that anymore, so I mainly end up in the more well-known titles.

I know a lot of mobile games that do good PUGs but they almost all feel like they’re using the same engine and are really generic, plus they just autoplay you through it all anyway. So their PUG systems are great, but the games end up being these generic autoplay messes (and you can copy and paste that for the overwhelmingly vast majority of them).

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Sorenthaz

WoW or XIV. XIV gradually settles you into it and all but maybe Ultimate content is theoretically PUGable. WoW of course is another no-brainer since it basically takes no brain to PUG dungeons in WoW, especially at endgame where their hard content is locked behind the Mythic+ grind which you can’t Pug, last I checked.

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Sorenthaz

I guess by PUG I meant “queue up for random matchmaking”. Most of WoW’s stuff is PUGable without matchmaking too.

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Alex Willis

ESO Vet Dungeons are quite PUG-friendly. Trials a little less so.

I *only* PUG these days, as my guild’s raid schedule just never works out with mine. ESO, Warframe, and SWTOR all cater reasonably well to this playstyle.

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Ironwu

Well, if the MMO has a ‘real’ set of end-game content, you just don’t do it with Pick-Up-Groups. That sort of content requires knowledge, coordination, communication, and trust. You just don’t have that with PUGs.